A Brief Story about Lao (and Why I Need to Go Back)
You don’t really realize how much you miss freshly baked bread until you live in a noodle/rice-oriented place for a while. Then you travel to a neighboring country, a former French colony, and are ready to spend all of your money on the first street vendor you see with baguettes and “Laughing Cow” cheese.
Lao is definitely a country that goes under-appreciated and under-explored. I’m certainly guilty of the latter. Our time in Lao was brief, but impactful. The museums brought so much of the country’s history to light and the French influence really shocks you, especially being in Asia. Lao was definitely the first place I traveled to that made middle & high school history class come alive. I used to hate the subject; I could never remember who was a part of what battle, which countries won during which year, and how many people were killed or survived. There was something about Lao, however, that had me fascinated in the sequence of events that led it to be the country it is today. History all started to become relatable. Ever since then, I’ve been infatuated with learning the background of everywhere I go as I travel.
Aside from the history, Lao is very green and very lush. The river towns are simple, except one crazy place called Vang Vieng. If you’ve traveled to Lao, you know about Vang Vieng. I probably shouldn’t go into explicit detail, but let’s just say it’s a hybrid of hippie and adrenaline junkie with “Family Guy” and “Friends” as the background noise.
I’d love to go back to Lao and explore more of the caves and countryside, but for now I’ll appreciate the short time I had there.